Canes Win 61-55 Thriller Over LaGrange; Clinch Playoffs


Photo Credit: Daily Tribune

Ryan McCrary and Thomas Smith

On Wednesday, February 6, the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes defeated the LaGrange Grangers to advance in the region tournament and earn a spot in the state playoffs. The Canes overcame a sixteen point deficit to capture a 61-55 victory at home.


Cartersville’s scoring machine Perignon Dyer started off hot in the first quarter, scoring seven of the Canes’ nine first quarter points. While Dyer was on fire, no one else was. The Canes struggled to get the ball rolling offensively and turned the ball over way too much. The costly turnovers gave the Grangers too many fast break opportunities. The Canes found themselves down 14-9 after the first quarter. LaGrange’s lead should’ve been bigger, but they missed lots of free throws in the first quarter.


LaGrange had a huge size advantage, which was noticeable as soon as you entered the gym, and they dominated the glass in the first half. It seemed like every rebound went the Grangers’ way. LaGrange forward Jordan Ogletree caused fits for the Canes, especially Isaac Gridley. Ogletree used his strength and speed to attack the basket relentlessly. Gridley has made a name for himself as a fantastic rim protector, but he was no match for Ogletree. The Canes’ offensive woes continued as they entered halftime down 29-20.


Cartersville flipped the switch at halftime and looked totally different in the second half. The Canes started to play with a lot more consistency on offense than they did in the first half. Junior Micah Tart was a huge factor in the Canes’ comeback as he had nine points midway through the third quarter. Cartersville was much better defensively in the second half. They forced turnovers and did a great job of rebounding and not letting LaGrange have too many second chance opportunities. The Canes found themselves down four after a couple of huge shots.


The fourth quarter was one to remember for the Canes. They dominated LaGrange and everyone could tell they were going to pull it out in the end. Sophomore Kolbe Benham, who struggled a lot on offense, hit a three with 5:50 left to cut the deficit to one. Sophomore Amarai Orr gave the Canes a 45-44 lead with 3:45 left and Perignon Dyer iced the game with two free throws in the final seconds.


LaGrange played conservatively in the second half and that allowed the Canes to comeback and take the lead. Cartersville had four double digit scorers: Dyer with eighteen, Gridley with thirteen, Tart with twelve, and Orr with eleven. The Canes will face Sandy Creek on Friday in the semi-finals of the Region 5 4A tournament.